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Talking Horses: British Flat racing greats to be celebrated in hall of fame

Tony Paley
·5-min read
<span>Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian</span>
Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian

British Flat racing will have a hall of fame to celebrate the equine and human greats of the sport. The first names, chosen by an independent panel of horse racing experts, will be announced next week to mark the 10th anniversary of the Qipco British Champions Series, the organisation launching the initiative.

Racing’s hall-of-famers will be selected from the period of the sport beginning in 1970 and will comprise the outstanding horses, jockeys and trainers along with those categorised as “major contributors” such as owners, breeders and other leading figures.

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New inductees will be announced at two separate points during the Flat racing season, before the Guineas meeting at Newmarket at the beginning of May and the British Champions Day at Ascot in mid-October which mark the beginning and end of the British Champions Series.

The hall of fame will exist online at, where the organisers state “a range of expertly curated written, pictorial and video content will pay tribute to Hall of Famers, as well as figures of historical importance”.

Sheikh Fahad bin Abdullah Al-Thani, director of Qipco, said: “My brothers and I are passionate about British Flat racing and its rich history and heritage which makes it the envy of other racing jurisdictions the world over. We are delighted to announce the British Champions Series Hall of Fame, which will honour the tremendous contributions made to British Flat racing.”

Rod Street, ceo of the British Champions Series, said: “The British Champions Series, which showcases the finest Flat racing, is the perfect home for a hall of fame. Our racing is the best in the world and we are delighted to be able to honour our greats through this exciting new initiative.”

The panel choosing the British racing greats consists of Emma Berry, European editor of Thoroughbred Daily News; Brough Scott, ITV racing broadcaster and journalist; Jamie Lynch, formerly of Timeform and now a presenter with Sky Sports Racing; the bloodstock agent James Delahooke; Lydia Hislop of Racing TV; Alan Byrne, editor-in-chief of the Racing Post; Ruth Quinn, racing director at the British Horseracing Authority and Martin Mitchell, the former Tattersalls bloodstock director. TP

Clan’s Punchestown Cup date makes waves

The fields are taking shape in both Britain and Ireland for the final flourish in the 2020-21 National Hunt season, and the announcement on that Clan Des Obeaux, the 26-length winner of the Betway Bowl, will be supplemented for the Punchestown Gold Cup next Wednesday has made waves on both sides of the Irish Sea.

Clan Des Obeaux completed an opening-day treble for his owners – including the former Manchester United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson – at Aintree earlier this month and had been expected to head the weights for the Bet365 Gold Cup on the jumps finale card at Sandown on Saturday. That would have left more than half of the 20 five-day entries for the race running from out of the handicap, but the weights will now rise by at least 12lb to give most of the field a chance to run off their correct mark.

The runners to benefit include Henry de Bromhead’s Plan Of Attack, who will be ridden by Rachael Blackmore on her afternoon in Britain since winning the Grand National on 10 April, and Christian Williams’s Kitty’s Light, currently vying for favouritism with Plan Of Attack at around 9-2.

Clan Des Obeaux, meanwhile, will add another layer to what already promised to be a memorable renewal of the Punchestown Gold Cup, as he takes on a field that is likely to include Minella Indo, the Gold Cup winner at Cheltenham last month, and Al Boum Photo, who took the Festival’s showpiece event in 2019 and 2020. GW

Wednesday’s best bets

The three-day Perth Festival gets under way with a competitive eight-race card when Lively Citizen (3.35) looks like the one to be on in the two-mile handicap hurdle.

David Jeffreys’ gelding has failed to add to his success at Cheltenham’s November meeting in three subsequent starts but has done little wrong and has more form on decent ground than McGowan’s Pass, his main market rival.

Ludlow 1.00 Tinnahalla 1.35 Baby King (nb) 2.10 Precious Eleanor 2.40 Tinkers Hill Tommy (nap) 3.15 Winged Isle 3.50 Call Me Vic 4.20 Our Jester

Perth 1.25 Jetaway Joey 1.55 Peur De Rien 2.30 Threeunderthrufive 3.00 Fortescue 3.35 Lively Citizen 4.10 Lady Chuffnell 4.40 Arnica 5.15 Lissen To The Lady

Catterick Bridge 1.45 Hope Probe 2.20 Aquaman 2.50 Parys Mountain 3.25 Round The Island 4.00 Pot Of Paint 4.30 Bert Kibbler 5.05 Harrogate

Lingfield Park 4.05 Lord Torranaga 4.35 Polling Day 5.10 Fascinating Lips 5.40 Trixie Waterbury 6.10 Aiguillette 6.40 Swiss Pride 7.10 Kath’s Lustre 7.40 Lucky Ava

Taunton 4.55 Mon Frere 5.30 Tonyx 6.00 Mi Laddo 6.30 Cobra Angel 7.00 Mystic Court 7.30 Numero Uno

Threeunderthrufive (2.30) and Lady Chuffnell (4.10) should also go well on the same card, while Tinkers Hill Tommy (2.40) and Baby King (1.35) have obvious chances at Ludlow. GW